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Youth and the Death Penalty Gaps - Essay Example

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Youth and the Death Penalty Gaps
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The juvenile justice system has been found unprepared to deal with children’s developmental paths to delinquent behavior, rehabilitation, and therapeutic problems. …
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Youth and the Death Penalty Gaps
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Youth and the Death Penalty Gaps Youth and the Death Penalty Gaps Introduction The juvenile justice system has been found unprepared to deal with children’s developmental paths to delinquent behavior, rehabilitation, and therapeutic problems. Today no nation can hold back so long from looking into how the other nations practice criminal justice system. As per the findings of the National Research Council (1993a:2), the US government policy on juvenile delinquency (which treats juveniles as adults) “fails to provide resources, support, and the opportunities essential to a healthy development and reasonable preparation for productive adulthood” (Juvenile crime, juvenile justice, 2001). In contrast, England has been maintaining a liberal approach to juvenile delinquency and punishment considering juvenile crime as the decline in morality that is attributed to numerous socioeconomic factors. The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales which oversees the youth justice system is the best example of the nation’s concern over the issue. Moreover, according to the European Union criteria, countries are required to abolish capital punishment for any crime. Thus the international context must be taken into consideration while initiating further studies on the issue. According to the international law, the death penalty and life imprisonment without parole for criminal offense committed by a juvenile involve an issue of human rights. Amnesty International reports that even after the Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago, there are still human rights violations, injustices, inequalities, and impunities taking place around the globe (Annual report 2011). While some of the nations have stopped sentencing juveniles to death or life without parole, still the majority of the countries continue executing juveniles. The literature review points out that little research has been done on the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs or no studies have been made on how efficiently the development programs for juvenile offenders can be carried out. The researchers must evaluate the impacts of development programs on grave, aggressive, and chronic juvenile offenders. Therefore, it is high time to do further research on the usefulness of psychoanalysis and rehabilitation for juvenile offenders. Gaps and Recommendations Early intervention along with community initiatives has been found effective for the juvenile crime prevention programs. However, there has been a lack of sufficient steps taken either in studying the facts or to undertake projects about the psychoanalysis and development for adolescent reprobates. As mentioned above researchers must analyze the impacts of development programs on grave, aggressive, and chronic juvenile offenders. These programs must be prepared to gain access over the youth’s emotions through activities, and to address the offenders’ emotional detachment and inability to be accountable for their crimes. This will become easier once the juveniles are well informed of the effects of drugs, gangs, weapons, and sex. The sole objective of the juvenile justice system is to make the juvenile delinquents liable for their crimes so that they would become responsible citizens of the country. Prevention of crime, successful rehabilitation, and character formation through education and other interactive activities are some of the expected outcomes of this procedure. According to Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice (2000), a national initiative, and ultimately an international one should be made to examine how knowledge about adolescent development can inform policy-making and practice in the juvenile justice system. Such initiatives should also take into consideration the influences of family with regard to its socioeconomic status, culture, and history on the behavior of the adolescents that turns them to be either lawbreakers or guileless. If they are more loved, they become more comfortable in the family, at school or in society and are less likely to engage in offensive behaviors including committing violence. As Adebayo (2011) points out, while researching on this particular element of family relationship, the point to be focused is that the well being of adolescents still rests in the strong feeling of being cared for by parents. This method would be a more preventive strategy than a curative strategy always welcomed. Families and society can minimize the risk elements and maximize the protective elements throughout the growth and development of children, from birth through adolescence, which in turn can provide all youths with productive and crime-free lives. The Supreme Court has been assessing the justification of sentencing juveniles since 1976. By reviewing various cases of the same sort, the court concluded that age factor must be one of the important elements for judgment. The same age factor is the base for suggestions for the rehabilitation of such juvenile offenders. Only a small number of offenders who pose a certain undeniable threat to the safety of other juveniles need to be kept out of the general rehabilitation program. The juveniles must be looked upon with multifaceted and multidimensional methodology, and far more than just looking at their criminal offensive behavior. The treatment too is a complex process of maintaining a therapeutic relationship, where a “treatment process” will be more suitable than a “treatment method”. Conclusion In total, lack of comprehensive research is evident with regard to the procedure of the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice System requires focusing on rehabilitating the juvenile offenders, and that is ethically more right than the death penalty. The system should be competent for advising youths to lead productive and crime-free lives. Hence, there must be further research on this particular issue of rehabilitating juvenile delinquents. Such research must consider the applicability of treatments using psychotherapy, because attitudes and characteristics strongly influence the outcomes of therapy while dealing with the adolescent reprobates. It should also define the fundamental difference of youth and adults based on their potential for rehabilitation and level of responsibility. References Annual report 2011: The state of the world’s human rights. (2011). Amnesty International. Retrieved from http://amnesty.org/en/annual-report/2011/introduction Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. (2000). “Should juvenile offenders be tried as adults?: A developmental perspective on changing legal policies”. Temple University and The John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network, 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/jcpr/workingpapers/wpfiles/Steinberg_briefing.pdf Adebayo, A. J. (2011). Rehabilitation and control of juvenile delinquency offenders. Yale- New Haven Teachers Institute. Retrieved from http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/2/00.02.01.x.html Juvenile crime, juvenile justice (2001). Commission on Behavioral and Social Science and Education. The Natioanl Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9747&page=15 Read More
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